Souls series

A glowing knight with their arms stretched in the air facing a large castle with two bridges.
  • Developer: FromSoftware
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Atlus Bandai Namco
  • Year: 2009 – 2016
  • Genre: RPG
  • Platform/s: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

The Souls games were discussed in the Queer Representation (2016) survey as offering important, positive representations of gender. Gender is treated as unimportant in the game and as though it does not alter a person's ability or skill. Clothing choices and gameplay are not impacted by the gender the player chooses to play as.

Although character creation is limited to binary genders, which is frustrating for nonbinary or gender non-conforming players, those binary genders are represented well. Armour has very little difference between how it appears on the frames of men and women, and there are no 'sexy running' animations for women, which was important to one respondent. Bloodborne often avoids the use of pronouns, referring to the player as a 'good hunter' and other gender neutral terms. Another respondent appreciated the gender coffin in Dark Souls 2, as stepping into the coffin to change gender felt like it was reducing the significance of gender, showing that gender fluidity is possible and that it is no big deal.

Other positives in relation to the character creators across the Souls games included the variety and vocal options, which are good for establishing personality. Some praised the numerous options and sliders for their customisation potential, though others feel that they rely on an artistic ability that many players lack, which can make them frustrating or boring. Negatives with the character creators include a lack of available body types and sizes. One respondent to the Queer Representation (2016) survey mentioned a gender slider present in Demon's Souls.

A major issue with gender representation in Dark Souls comes from the character Dark Sun Gwyndolin. A trans woman who responded to the Queen Representation (2016) survey listed Dark Sun Gwyndolin as her least favourite representation of gender in games. The issues with Gwyndolin are discussed in-depth by Ashley Allan, another trans woman, in her article about Gwyndolin. Dark Sun Gwyndolin's concept art is included below.